South American Cichlids • Festae stocking and mates

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Festae stocking and mates

Postby livinginteriors » Tue Mar 21, 2017 6:57 pm

I am a long time hobbyist, but in saltwater(400 gallon reef tank...), freshwater planted tanks and a bit of Africans(bred a bunch, including with petricola and mulit's). Love the Festae. Have 4, 2-3" growing out in a 40 Breeder. Have had them a month, they have sorted out a pecking order and get along quite well. I will be keeping them in a 7x2x2' roughly 200 gallon tank. The tank will be planted and scaped with lots of hiding places... and still open swimming space. I realize the 4 festae may not continue to get along. I want to add others to the system as target/dithers to help. I like the true parrot cichlid and am thinking 4 of the same size as the festae, a sailfin pleco, a syno. decorus and 10 giant danios. I am not trying to breed and will probably remove the eggs/fry as I can if anything spawns.
I would like advice regarding this plan. I have the ability to quickly remove threatened or overly aggressive fish to other tanks.
Thank you very much! Jim
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Re: Festae stocking and mates

Postby Mr Chromedome » Wed Mar 22, 2017 11:54 am

The first thing you can do is forget about any planting with festae. They will most assuredly rip it to shreds when they mature, if not sooner. Hoplarchus psittacus is probably not a good choice as tankmates, as they come from black water environments and are not as aggressive. The Pleco will likely do fine, but not sure about a Syno. I have no experience with using Giant Danios as dithers or target fish, so I will leave that to others.

Even in a 200 gallon tank, other cichlids to keep with festae are going to be temporary if you get a mature male. I've kept three females with other fish, and while they got along with fish that were larger than them, they were never in breeding mode due to the lack of a male.
Happiness may be the door to Heaven, but Pleasure is not the Key. - attributed to Confucius
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Re: Festae stocking and mates

Postby livinginteriors » Wed Mar 22, 2017 4:25 pm

Thanks for your input. I have a lot of experience on the plant side and use anubias which will attached to rocks, wood... They are bullet proof and you just lift the structures out if you to catch fish or clean the tank. I also use floating plants of several species as part of the filter system. I have employed both of the techniques in my grow out tank to test them a bit with the festae specifically.
I realize that anything I try will need a plan B so that I can remove fish if there are problems. I have seen quite a few videos with the psittacus in with aggressive fish and/or being aggressive. How have you kept them before? Tank size, mates...
I very much appreciate the help.
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Re: Festae stocking and mates

Postby BC in SK » Fri Mar 24, 2017 1:37 pm

livinginteriors wrote: use anubias which will attached to rocks, wood... They are bullet proof

Well, anubias is definitely not bullet proof. Not only do these kinds of cichlids uproot plants but often will bite the leaves. Chew them up and spit them out. Sometimes all it takes is one fish to start biting at the plant, and the rest of the tank will follow. There is a reason you seldom see plants in CA tanks. I'd give your odds at less then 50/50.
IMO floating plants have better chance of working out then anubias. Young juvies probably won't bother any of the plants for some time, but be prepared that they could end up making a total mess out of your plants some day.
livinginteriors wrote: I have seen quite a few videos with the psittacus in with aggressive fish and/or being aggressive.

Few of us here have kept the true parrot. So you won't find a lot of first hand experience with this cichlid. I'm aware that it can be highly aggressive. And it get's very large. I've read threads of it bullying chocalate cichlids and also seen video/pics of it threatening with smaller opponents such as a green terror. The fact it doesn't even dominate a smaller green terror, IMO is fairly telling of it's abilities!
IME and IMO, festae is very similar in temperment and behavior to large CA cichlids. IMO and IME, comparables would be fish like Trimac, RD/midas and Parachromis. The nastiest of the nasty.
Could festae possibly work with true parrot in a 200 gal.? Maybe. But generally true parrot is usually housed with more peaceful SA. I have my doubts it would do well in a very rough tank.
As far as tankmates for festae, I would consider CA cichlids. Some of the large lugubris pikes might work out. Of coarse some times these big aggressive fish end up fighting for dominance of the tank and it doesn't work out too well at all. Smaller tough CA like convicts would probably be a better bet. Smaller fish are less of a threat and are usually more tolerated. I'd also consider mbuna but I'm not going to convince anybody of that.
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Re: Festae stocking and mates

Postby livinginteriors » Tue Mar 28, 2017 10:34 am

Thanks again for the input. Per, Jeff Rapps advice I am off the parrots. If I add anything besides some schooling fish, I am leaning toward nicaraguensis per Jeff's advice. He kept the two species together long term. Jeff did mention convicts and several other species as possible. I am trying to not overstock. I really like tanks that are balanced out so that NO3 stays naturally low. I still do 15-60% water changes weekly depending on what I am keeping.
I am going to go Anubias, not rooted in to the substrate, and a few other species rooted as an experiment. As well as floating plants. I'll report back the results. This technique has worked very well with many Africans I have kept so I want to give it a go. Besides, I grow out so many plants it's sometimes hard to sell them all. I have never had a fish yet that liked the taste of Anubias.
What types of fish have others kept, long term, with Festae, in a decent sized tank that wasn't bare?
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Re: Festae stocking and mates

Postby livinginteriors » Tue Mar 28, 2017 2:38 pm

Here are a couple links,
one of my plant tanks:
https://youtu.be/7xa34VYi5Yc
my Fesate grow out:
https://youtu.be/IKnF_kA1DLI
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Re: Festae stocking and mates

Postby Hybrid_Creations » Fri May 12, 2017 2:40 pm

livinginteriors wrote:Thanks again for the input. Per, Jeff Rapps advice I am off the parrots. If I add anything besides some schooling fish, I am leaning toward nicaraguensis per Jeff's advice. He kept the two species together long term. Jeff did mention convicts and several other species as possible. I am trying to not overstock. I really like tanks that are balanced out so that NO3 stays naturally low. I still do 15-60% water changes weekly depending on what I am keeping.
I am going to go Anubias, not rooted in to the substrate, and a few other species rooted as an experiment. As well as floating plants. I'll report back the results. This technique has worked very well with many Africans I have kept so I want to give it a go. Besides, I grow out so many plants it's sometimes hard to sell them all. I have never had a fish yet that liked the taste of Anubias.
What types of fish have others kept, long term, with Festae, in a decent sized tank that wasn't bare?



I have a male Festae at about 6" right now, he's starting to become the jerk of all jerks. He's currently housed with 2 12" Oscars, a 7" Hornet Tilapia, an 8" Dempsey, a 13" Pictus Cat, a 6" who the #%$& knows what, and 2 Convicts. It's a pretty volatile tank, and they need to be kept VERY well fed. They've all been together for about a year and a half now with no casualties out of the original group. My Festae did murder a 4" Convict in about 20 minutes though when we were trying to introduce a male to our females for constant feeders. The Con hit the water and that was all she wrote. I'll sell off everything else before I get rid of my Festae. I LOVE that fish. He's very handsome, and a very good boy....most of the time.
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Re: Festae stocking and mates

Postby livinginteriors » Wed May 17, 2017 2:16 pm

Sorry you are having difficulties. No hostility between the four Festae since I got them. First in a 40 breeder now in a 200. I do leave them space, hide outs and things to grab their attention, plants, caves... so they don't just stare at each other all day. Will add a group of schooling/shoaling fish soon. Not decided on the type yet.
I am not the bare tank flower pot guy or the over crowded guy. Not saying those are bad and I may have issues down the road.
Facebook has a South American Cichlid group with a bunch of nice and knowledgable folks. Best of luck.
Tried to add pics but can't figured out how.
livinginteriors
 
Joined: Tue Mar 21, 2017 6:45 pm
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Re: Festae stocking and mates

Postby Hybrid_Creations » Mon Jun 19, 2017 4:49 pm

livinginteriors wrote:Sorry you are having difficulties. No hostility between the four Festae since I got them. First in a 40 breeder now in a 200. I do leave them space, hide outs and things to grab their attention, plants, caves... so they don't just stare at each other all day. Will add a group of schooling/shoaling fish soon. Not decided on the type yet.
I am not the bare tank flower pot guy or the over crowded guy. Not saying those are bad and I may have issues down the road.
Facebook has a South American Cichlid group with a bunch of nice and knowledgable folks. Best of luck.
Tried to add pics but can't figured out how.



Since that post, Mr. Murderface has claimed 1 of the 2 convicts and the backyard #%$&. The Tilapia got donated to my LFS because he was just growing way too fast to keep until the big tank goes up when we move here in a little bit. Now it's down to 2 O's, JD, Festae, Pictus. Its calmed down in there quite a bit.
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Re: Festae stocking and mates

Postby livinginteriors » Fri Oct 06, 2017 1:06 pm

Sorry for the delay. My tank is going great. No issues with my plants nor aggression. The 4 juv. Festae are now one male and three females. Went with 2 G. Brasilinesis as tank mates. They mess with each other a small amount, but are ignored by the Festae.
Really good plant growth. Zero NO3. All going well. No spawning as yet.
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Re: Festae stocking and mates

Postby livinginteriors » Fri Oct 06, 2017 1:07 pm

Wanted to add that I have found a lot of great advice and nice folks on the SA Cichlids FB group.
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